Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author A.F. Stewart @scribe77 @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Shadow Man
by A.F. Stewart

“Can you see the Shadow Man? Can you see the Shadow Man?”
Perched on the low wall at the edge of the playground, Annabelle listened to the boisterous chanting from the other children. She banged her heels against the stone and wanted to scream, “Yes! Yes, I can see the Shadow Man! He’s right there on the swing!”
Yet, she stayed silent. She stared at it, him, this ebon figure of insubstantial mist. And he stared back at her. She shivered, but she knew as long as he was still, as long as the swing didn’t move, they were safe.
“Annabelle! Come on!”
She turned her head at her mother’s voice, and jumped off the wall at her impatient glare. She had to go home. As she walked to the car, Annabelle glanced back. The Shadow Man smiled at her, a strange red glow where his teeth should be. Annabelle shuddered.
She climbed in the family car and her mother drove them home.
 ***
The next day Annabelle again sat on the playground wall. She knew the whispers came next. She wouldn’t give in. Not this time.
Give me a name, Annabelle.”
She stared at her sneakers.
Give me a name.”
Despite every resolve, she looked up, her eyes drawn to the new playground bully.
Is it her? Is she the one?” Silence. Then, “She is. Give me a name, Annabelle.”
Annabelle closed her eyes, hesitated, yet whispered, “Becky.”
She gasped and her eyes snapped open. “I didn’t mean to—” But the Shadow Man smiled at her.
“Annabelle! Time to go!”
Shaking, Annabelle jumped off the wall. She walked towards her mother, glancing back at the playground. When the swing started moving she stopped watching. She climbed in the vehicle and shut the door.
Inside the car, Annabelle never heard Becky scream.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from A.F. Stewart:

Beyond the Wail: Anthology
Featured Story: The Weeping Lady

OF MICE AND MONSTERS by Tirzah Duncan: Troubled by ghosts within and without, Benjamin struggles to become the man his girlfriend needs instead of the monster he is.
GO GENTLE by Julie Barnson: After the death of her boyfriend, a young musician uses her talents and a fabled violin to stop the fatal accidents at a dead man’s curve.
DEAD WATER by Amanda Banker: A stalled truck, an abandoned graveyard, and a town not found on any map take two brothers on a detour they’ll never forget.
COLD SPOT by Jay Barnson: When a laptop is stolen from their computer security company, two high school buddies go to extremes to investigate. But, will they manage to return?
THE WEEPING LADY by A. F. Stewart: Eva Douglas must face her mother issues, past and present, when the disappearance of her sister forces a confrontation with a terrifying ghost.
THE POLTERGEIST AND AUNT BETTY by Ginger C. Mann: Aunt Betty is eccentric, but how much is ghost, how much is medication, and how much is just plain crazy?
THE ‘GRIM’ REAPER by L. K. McIntosh: When a soul reaper loses the source of their power,
they must either find the witch who stole it or a new purpose for living.
SHRINE OF MIRRORS by F. M. Longo: A spy on a mission becomes a believer in the supernatural when the theft of three ancient relics threaten to bring down the empire.
DEAD MAN HOCKING by T.N. Payne: A world-weary zombie learns to beware what you wish for, and not all sure bets are worth the gamble.
ST. PETER’S FISH by Alex McGilvery: Sam is a walking disaster of biblical proportions, but how much is he willing to sacrifice to escape, and will the Powers That Be allow it?
THE DIORAMA by Sebastian Bendix: A play set turns life around for Martin Taper, but things take a turn for the worse when he neglects it and the lonely child obsessed with it.
DATE DUE by Danielle E. Shipley: A magic library’s guardian determines to protect her treasured books, whether their authors elect to do things the easy way . . . or the fatal one.

Available on Amazon!

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About Nina D'Arcangela

Nina D’Arcangela is a quirky horror writer who likes to spin soul rending snippets of despair. She reads anything from splatter matter to dark matter. She's an UrbEx adventurer who suffers from unquenchable wanderlust. She loves to photograph abandoned places, bits of decay and old graveyards. Nina is co-owner of Sirens Call Publications, co-founder of the horror writer's group 'Pen of the Damned', and if that isn't enough, put a check mark in the box next to owner and resident nut-job of Dark Angel Photography.
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